Happy and healthy only if occupied? Perceptions of health sciences students on occupation in later life.

Abstract

BACKGROUND/AIM   In this study, we bring attention to the university education of health science students with respect to occupation in later life. Our goal was to provide descriptive data from narratives of a group of undergraduate students and initiate discussion about the place of occupation in the context of ageing to answer the following questions: (i) How young people perceive successful ageing in relation to occupation? and (ii) can spirituality-related activities be considered occupations in later life? METHODS Based on a thematic selection, the quality of photographs and reflective narratives, 60 Photovoice assignments created by health sciences students were analysed using content analysis. RESULTS The findings of this study indicate that students seem to neglect the benefits of 'being' through spiritual engagement, and instead emphasise the importance of 'doing', and perpetuate pervasive successful ageing discourses in Western societies. CONCLUSIONS Occupational therapists have potential to take an active role in undergraduate health science education and to inform the development of holistic models that would include spirituality as an avenue to live late life to its fullest potential. Photovoice emerged as a powerful teaching method to increase awareness, empathy and compassion of young adults towards ageing.

DOI: 10.1111/j.1440-1630.2009.00841.x

Cite this paper

@article{Zecevic2010HappyAH, title={Happy and healthy only if occupied? Perceptions of health sciences students on occupation in later life.}, author={Aleksandra A. Zecevic and Lilian Magalh{\~a}es and Mona Madady and Michelle H Halligan and Alicia Reeves}, journal={Australian occupational therapy journal}, year={2010}, volume={57 1}, pages={17-23} }